Empowering Indigenous Women for stronger Communities
Status of Women Canada works to advance equality for women in Canada. One of the ways it does this is through the Women’s Program, which provides financial support to projects that focus on overcoming systemic barriers and changing the conditions that hinder gender equality.
It is generally recognized that “equality in decision-making is essential to the empowerment of women” (United Nations). According to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination, Indigenous women have the right to participate in decision-making matters that would affect their rights. In addition, it emphasizes that women and men have equal rights to participate in politics and public affairs, and to represent their communities and countries”. When women participate fully in public life, we all benefit from the diversity of perspectives, talent and experience they contribute.
Status of Women Canada is soliciting proposals for projects that will empower Indigenous women to engage with their communities to address issues affecting them or hindering their advancement in all aspects of life.
A community can be on or off reserve and can be defined by a geographic location (local, regional, national), a treaty, a band, a tribal council, and/or a regional government.
Proposed projects will engage women and a range of community partners in working together to:
- identify community issues affecting Indigenous women;
- expand community understanding of these issues; and
- take action, together with partners, to address the issues within their communities/regions or at the national level.
For the purposes of this Call for Proposals, public life is broadly defined to include various aspects of community life, including community/tribal/band council leadership, and other areas that strengthen the voice and influence of Indigenous women at the local, regional, and national levels on issues of importance to them and their communities.
Note: Some organizations may wish to include leadership training for women in their proposals; however this should not be the only or primary focus.
As part of the leadership training component for these projects, participants would also receive information and training on:
- specific and broader issue(s) affecting Indigenous women, including systemic issues;
- identification and analysis of the specific needs, priorities, viewpoints and potential strategies for addressing issues impacting Indigenous women and their communities;
- engaging, educating and networking with stakeholders; and
- effective collaborative action to address issues affecting Indigenous women.
In these cases, up to 50% of total requested funding for the project may be allotted to deliver direct leadership training to Indigenous women to prepare them for taking collaborative action to address one or more of the identified issues during the project.
- Indigenous women and communities have an increased understanding of issues affecting them and their communities.
- Indigenous women and communities have gained and/or strengthened skills to identify and respond to issues affecting Indigenous women.
- Indigenous women and communities are actively engaging and taking on leadership roles to address pressing issues in their communities.
Potential applicants should read the document Is the Women’s Program the right match for me? and the Eligibility Requirements for additional criteria. Status of Women Canada does not fund direct services to women. Please consult Women’s Program staff to determine whether a proposed project corresponds to the focus of the Women’s Program and the Call for Proposals.
Selected projects may be required to participate in an evaluation and in developing a common needs assessment.
Performance reporting as well as specific timelines will be determined after the proposed project has been approved.
Funding sought should be commensurate with the nature and scope of the proposal. For instance, projects taking place across Canada could seek funding in the range of $1.5M. Projects at a regional or provincial/territorial level should seek funding in an amount commensurate with this scope. Project duration should be a maximum of 36 months.
Optional: Joint Funding Opportunities
To facilitate partnerships and benefit from the expertise of others, organizations may come together as co-applicants to submit one project proposal. If this is the case, applications must be accompanied by a partnership agreement signed by all co-applicants describing:
- the nature and scope of each co-applicant’s contribution (who is doing what),
- the funding amount requested by each co-applicant (as funding agreements would be established between Status of Women Canada and each co-applicant). Funding requests by each co-applicant should reflect a budget commensurate with the nature and scope of the co-applicant’s proposed contribution to the larger initiative.
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